SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Right now hospitals are not just dealing with the flu but also COVID-19 and RSV. Statewide numbers show hospitalizations are on the rise for COVID-19 but locally the Baystate Health system is seeing a decline.

About this time last year, COVID-19 cases in the Baystate Health system were inching towards 300, but Division Chief of Infectious Diseases Dr. Armando Paez of Baystate Medical Center says it’s different now.

“We have peaked last week around 140, so it’s very much a different story now compared to last year,” said Dr. Paez. He said that case count includes people hospitalized for COVID-19, however the majority are patients hospitalized for other reasons who happen to test positive. While hospitalizations are far lower than last year, Paez told 22News we are still higher than the base line.

In the meantime, the Springfield Board of Health is recommending seniors as well as people with underlying health conditions wear a mask as we face yet another subvariant of Omicron.

“Due to this new subvariant which can escape the natural immunity and vaccine related immunity, then I think you should wear a mask and utilize other infection control measures,” said Dr. Paez. He also said that it is particularly important if you’re in an area that has a high risk of COVID-19 transmission and if you or someone close to you is more likely to develop a serious case of the illness.

There have also been declines in cases for RSV and the flu locally.